The Comcast Technology Center at 1800 Arch Street in Center City has stood as Philadelphia’s tallest skyscraper since 2017, with a height of 1,121 feet, and Philadelphia YIMBY takes a look at various concepts through schematics and models of the tower before the design was finalized.
In the late 1800’s, ten city blocks in Center City were converted into an elevated railroad spur that serviced multiple rail lines, connected to the Broad Street Station just to the west of City Hall, near the current space Dilworth Park. A massive train shed stood behind the station, rising multiple stories tall and prominent from many directions. Designed by the Wilson Brothers, the project was developed by the Pennsylvania Railroad and was completed on December 5, 1881. The centerpiece was a five-story Victorian Gothic headhouse facing City Hall.
One Meridian Plaza was a 492-foot-tall, 38-story skyscraper that used to stand on the current site of the Residences at Ritz Carlton and the W/Element Hotel at 1416 South Penn Square in Center City, across from City Hall. The building began construction in 1968 and opened in 1972, just after the construction of the 1980’s skyscraper boom. Designed by Vincent and Kling and Associates and developed by Girard Bank and Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance, the tower was extensively damaged by a fatal fire in 1991 and demolished in 1999.
The iconic Philadelphia skyline has dramatically expanded since the completion of One Liberty Place in 1987. Philly YIMBY presents exclusive massing renderings of the 1987 skyline, reflecting the beginning of a period that saw rapid development in Center City.
Philly YIMBY’s “unbuilt” series continues with Mandeville Place, a slender, 607-foot-tall high-rise proposed at 2401 Walnut Street in Center City West in the mid-2000s. Designed by Richard Meier & Partners Architects and developed by Bedrock Group LLC, the 43-story skyscraper would have joined an existing eight-story building to the south, which would have been converted into hotel space. A shared amenity rooftop was planned between the two structures. The tower would have featured 45 condominium units that would have offered dramatic views of the skyline.